Blasius Brings New Strategy To Pitch

By
Brad Friedman

Dateline
Updated Wed, May 22, 2013 11:10 am
Photo Credit: 
Mitch Casey
Stacey Smith is a senior midfielder for the Pioneers and has endured a variety of different schemes at Marietta.

Coming off of a 3-13-1 season, the Marietta women’s soccer program has not experienced a plethora of success recently. The Pioneers have not posted a record above .500 since their 8-8-1 campaign in 2007.

After the resignation of then head coach Elke Reisdorph last fall, Assistant Athletic Director Jeff Schaly said that it was important to find a new coach that would be “the right fit” for the program and Marietta community.

Enter: Tracy Blasius.

Returning to the pitch after a year away from coaching, Blasius brings an impressive resume and a considerable amount of experience to her new team. During her 15 seasons at Ohio Athletic Conference foe John Carroll, Blasius led the Blue Streaks to a record of 143-122-27, two regular season OAC titles and one conference tournament championship. Blasius was also named conference coach of the year three times.

Having coached against OAC teams, including Marietta, for over a decade, Schaly felt like Blasius’ knowledge of NCAA Division III soccer and the OAC made her the best choice for the job.

“She knows what it will take to make Marietta a conference champion,” Schaly said.

As for Blasius herself, the move to Marietta was a challenge she is eager to face.

“There hasn’t been a great program here for a while … I wanted to start over and build something here,” Blasius said, “The administration is behind this program and they’re ready for a change.”

Establishing consistency within the program is something both Schaly and Blasius stressed. When the Pioneers take the field against Rio Grande on August 21, this senior class will have started the season under the guidance of their third head coach.

Senior midfielder Stacey Smith had been frustrated with the constant changes at the head coaching position, but she approved of the way Blasius has taken control of the program.

“You can tell that it’s all about soccer and the team with her, ” Smith said.

Fellow senior and Marietta goalkeeper Kaitlyn Pearse also applauded Blasius’ knowledge of the game and her commitment to the program.

“She has shown that she will be here for the long haul which will be very beneficial to the program,” Pearse said.

As Blasius establishes herself as the leader of this program, Smith knew that it would take the efforts of the entire squad to get the program headed in the right direction.

“We have been stressing the importance, to the underclassmen, of being there for one another,” Smith said. “Everybody needs to step up and be there for one another.”

Through cookouts at Blasius’ home and other team bonding activities, both Pearse and Smith acknowledged the importance of building team camaraderie as the new coach establishes herself in a new job.

While Pearse and Smith expressed their optimism with their new head coach, Blasius knows that success won’t come over night. Blasius takes over a team that only scored 15 goals in 17 matches while allowing opponents to score an average of three goals per match, placing them in second to last place in the OAC.

In the Pioneers’ brief spring season, Blasius placed a few players in new positions and has implemented new offensive and defensive formation, according to Pearse.

“It’s going to be a process, little by little,” Blasius said, “There is talent on this team and we could see improvement by having a better organized system.”

Marietta has seen athletic success in several other sports, such as baseball and rowing, and the athletic department hired Blasius, along with new coaches for football and men’s soccer, in the hopes of elevating fall sports to the level of baseball, rowing and other prosperous programs.

“Everybody comes in during the fall hyped up for a new school year,” Schaly said, “The more momentum you build in the fall; the better off all athletics will be during the whole school year.”

Blasius wants her squad to “keep it simple” this fall. She has her eyes on a spot in the conference tournament this year.

“[I want us] to stay positive, work hard and to be proud of Marietta soccer.”

Photo Credit: 
John Carroll University
Tracy Blasius took over Marietta Women's Soccer after five consecutive losing seasons for the Pioneers.
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